Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye develops cloudy or hazy vision. This condition often happens slowly and can cause blindness.
You may consider having laser cataract surgery to improve your vision. Keep reading to find out if there are any advantages to choosing laser cataract surgery and to learn more about the procedure!
Precision Lens Placement with the LenSx Laser
When it comes to having your cataracts removed, you can have traditional or laser cataract surgery. With traditional cataract surgery, a surgeon uses a vibrating needle or tiny blade to make an incision in the eye before removing the lens.
Traditional cataract surgery is a successful procedure, but it’s not as reliable as laser-assisted cataract surgery. Even cataract surgeons who have decades of experience cannot create as precise incisions as a laser can.
What Happens During Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery?
Laser-assisted refractive cataract surgery automates many of the most challenging steps associated with having cataract surgery. The surgical team at Chicago Cornea Consultants takes a 3D scan of your eye to measure lens thickness, angles, and depth.
A computer uses this information to write a custom surgical program for the laser. On the day of your procedure, the team will provide you with eye drops to numb your eyes, ensuring you never feel any pain.
They will set up the laser and remove your natural lens. There are no pieces of the lens left behind, thanks to the exact precision of the LenSx laser. The LenSx laser implants your new intraocular lens with precise accuracy, but more importantly, the laser produces proven and reproducible results.
Using the LenSx laser is especially helpful when patients have dense cataracts. It’s much easier to use a laser to create an incision in thicker lenses than to do so by hand with instruments like a scalpel.
The exact placement of the new intraocular lens is a crucial component of any successful cataract surgery. This is especially true if you’ve chosen a multifocal lens.
Multifocal lenses have prescriptions that vary in strength, meaning they can correct for more than one focal point of sight, including up-close, intermediate, and distance vision. The intraocular lens must fit in the perfect spot for a patient to regain clear sight.
Having laser cataract surgery increases the likelihood that these patients will reduce their dependence on glasses after having their cataracts removed.
Faster Recovery after Removing Cataracts
Some people that have traditional cataract surgery may have corneal swelling. If your surgeon leaves lens fragments in the eye during the procedure, this can lead to corneal inflammation developing.
Damaged endothelial cells around optical blood vessels may also cause the cornea to swell. These issues are more common in people that undergo traditional cataract surgery.
Laser cataract surgery uses less pressure and energy on the eye. When your surgeon removes the cataract, there’s less ultrasound energy used, leading to a gentler approach for patients.
The LenSx laser doesn’t use any blades at all and offers the best in surgical precision. This increased accuracy and a reduction in ultrasound energy during cataract removal encourage a faster recovery time.
The incisions created during laser cataract surgery incisions are self-healing, so they don’t need stitches or any kind of adhesive.
Many patients have improved vision within hours of laser cataract surgery. If you don’t experience improved vision right away, that’s normal as it can take several days for some people’s sight to become less blurry.
Premium IOL Options
If you get cataract surgery, you can choose between standard or premium IOLS. IOL stands for intraocular lens. These artificial lenses replace the natural lens that’s become cloudy due to the development of a cataract.
Standard varieties have fewer features and are less advanced than premium lenses. Many insurance policies will only cover monofocal lenses, which are the standard lens that only correct one focal point during cataract surgery.
Premium IOLs have additional features that patients have to pay for out of pocket. This does make them more costly, but they have added benefits.
There are several different kinds of premium IOLs available, depending on your lifestyle and what kind of visual needs you have after cataract surgery. One kind of premium lens is aspheric lenses, which are often best for people with big pupils because they fit the closest to the natural lens.
Another premium lens worth considering is the PanOptix trifocal IOL, which offers users excellent near, far, and mid-distance vision improvement.
Many people who have laser cataract surgery choose a premium intraocular lens. The combination of laser cataract surgery and precise lens technologies provides patients with the best possible vision.
One of the most common refractive errors is astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the curvature of the cornea or lens is an irregular shape.
The eye should be round and shaped like a basketball. But when you have astigmatism, your eye is more like the shape of a football, making it closer to a sphere.
The irregularity of the eye’s shape causes issues with vision, meaning you may suffer from nearsightedness or farsightedness. This condition is common and often runs in families. Surgery, injury, and disease can also cause astigmatism.
Eye surgeons can address astigmatism with traditional cataract surgery. However, it is easier and faster to reshape the cornea with a laser. The LenSx laser creates a smoother lens because it uses a laser instead of a blade or needle.
Laser cataract surgery can address astigmatism by using a toric IOL. These lenses have different prescriptions to address the asymmetrical eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants, in addition to offering our patients laser cataract surgery, we also provide the state-of-the-art ORA system.
In particular, for patients with astigmatism, this allows our surgeons to ensure that results are accurate, successful and that your new IOL is in place. With traditional cataract surgery, surgeons must perfectly place the toric IOL and rotate it manually to meet markers on the edge of the lens, ensuring that astigmatism is fully corrected.
If you have cataracts, you may want to consider laser cataract surgery if you’re looking for a faster recovery and more accurate and precise results during your recovery.
Schedule your cataract screening at Chicago Cornea Consultants in Chicago, IL, to find out more about laser cataract surgery and if it may be right for you!